When You’re Stressed for Too Long, Your Immune System Suffers
Stress can make it rather difficult to operate at your full potential. Obviously, it has its share of mental effects, causing you to work less efficiently, but it also has many physical effects.
One physical effect of stress that you might end up encountering is that it lowers your immune system, leaving you more prone to getting sick. If you’ve noticed yourself getting frequently sick recently, it might not just be due to allergies or a bug going around.
It could be that you’re so stressed out that your body has started give up on its own immune system, which can be extremely bad in some circumstances. Now, for your immune system to be lowered, it takes more than just one bad day.
You need to be stressed out for an extended period of time. This can be hard to identify, though. If you go long enough being stressed out, eventually you’re going to be used to that as the norm.
You might be stressed out for awhile and not even realize it after a point. By lowering your immune system, your body is open to more harmful diseases. It could be something minor like a cold or a cough, but it could get a lot worse.
Some people experience rashes or airborne diseases that require a visit to the doctor to fix, leading to more costs, which can become stressful in its own right. Getting sick can put a serious damper on your work performance.
If it’s bad enough, you might not even be able to come into work, but if you do go, you’re definitely not going to be operating at your best levels. You’ll be worried about getting other people sick if it’s contagious, and you’re going to end up getting even more stressed out.
You need to keep your stress managed so that you can avoid getting sick. What might seem harmless can turn into nausea, headaches, viruses, and more. You need to treat your body right so that you can stay healthy and happy.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t have your bad days. It’s fine to have a day where you’re feeling stressed - that’s normal. However, you need to pull it together and figure out what to do next so that this feeling doesn’t continue on and take over your life.
That means regularly engaging in stress relief that’s tailored to your personal preferences. Switch it up and make sure that it’s something that soothes your mind and calms your nerves.
Your Body Continually Tries to Recover from Stress
When it comes to stress and how it relates to aging, many people are afraid that just a little bit of stress can cause them to develop signs of aging and health problems. In reality, that’s not quite the case.
As an adaptation from our prehistoric days, humans have developed means of physically handling stress, but that’s only meant for short term bursts. If you have ongoing stress, then your body will always be trying to catch up, which can then lead to faster aging.
Some parts of this natural defense might be things you already recognize as signs of stress. For one, your heart rate will go up. This is because your body assumes it’s about to have to either fight or run, so it gets you all amped up and prepared.
For this same reason, you might also notice that your muscles tense up and you might even start to get twitches in your eye or muscles. These natural defenses are great for short term stress.
It gets you prepared to take on a challenge, and you’re able to do what you need to do. However, your body needs rest after that to recognize that you’re no longer stressed out and don’t need those defenses anymore.
With long term stress, you never get to that point. When you’re stressed out over a prolonged period of time, your body will be in a constant state of trying to repair itself and help you out, which ends up doing more harm than good.
Some of the defensive measures that your body puts in place can, if they don’t stop, give you signs of aging and even afflict you with physical health problems. Take, for example, the increased heart rate.
While it’s beneficial for a short burst of energy, if you have a high heart rate for awhile, you’re bound to eventually suffer from some heart complications. In some cases, this can even end up being fatal.
Another example would be the tensed up muscles. While it’s great for the fight or flight response, constant tension in your body can lead to so many physical problems normally reserved for senior citizens.
Your face will start to develop wrinkles over time from always looking worried, and your body will experience soreness and cramps more often than before. You need to take time to relax and let your body take a break from always trying to recover.
What to Do When People Are Your Primary Source of Stress
Stress comes from a variety of issues - including from people. Knowing how to deal with people who cause your stress can help you avoid the physical ramifications of having toxic individuals in your life.
These physical issues happen because of the emotional stress you deal with every time you encounter someone who makes you feel angry, sad, frustrated and more. Emotional stress is just as bad for speeding up the aging process as physical stress is.
It can cause diseases, immune system deterioration and more. You might have to deal with a friend or family member who causes you stress. It might be a coworker or someone you encounter regularly, like a neighbor.
Whoever it is, you need to learn how to deal with it to mitigate the effect on your health.
Start by identifying who the people are in your life who cause you stress. The way to tell if someone causes you stress is every time you think about being around them or you actually are around them, you have a visceral reaction.
Your stomach gets tied up in knots or you have an emotional reaction. You feel anxious or angry. People who cause stress often look at the negative in everything around them, including in you.
They always leave you feeling worn out. These people complain about how bad their life is or they compare their life to yours and tell you how lucky you are. They often tear down other people and can be subconsciously or even deliberately cruel in their comments or actions.
They don’t accept blame for anything going on in their life, but blame their friends, family, coworkers or even you. These people are always where the drama is or they’re the cause of whatever drama is going on.
They want you to be their shoulder to lean on and every time you spend time with them, you leave feeling a lot worse than when you arrived. You can put a stop to the drama that comes from other people.
Begin by going on the offensive. You already know this person or those people are going to cause you stress. Know your course of action before meeting up with them. Determine ahead of time how you’re going to handle it when the stress kicks in from being with them.
Don’t let someone else have the emotional reins in your life. People will say and do things that cause stress, but they can’t be in charge of how you respond to that stress. Only you can do that.
You can feel empathy toward someone without letting them emotionally wreck you. This usually comes from a friend who gets angry about something and leads you toward anger as well.
When someone does stress you out, don’t carry it with you. Deal with it immediately and then let go. When the topic of conversation or their actions trigger stress, either change the subject or address the actions directly. Keep your distance emotionally as much as possible and if that’s not possible, then keep a physical distance if you have to.
Can Stress Cause Digestive Issues?
Stress doesn’t play hit and miss with your body, picking and chooses certain areas to affect while leaving other parts of it alone. Instead, stress launches a full body attack and impacts you from head to toe.
It can even cause digestive issues that can mildly or significantly impact your ability to live normally. When it comes to stress, you have to first understand that your gastrointestinal function doesn’t operate as a standalone system.
Your digestive system works in tandem with your brain and nervous system. When something goes wrong with either of those, the fallout is passed down to your digestive system.
That’s because your gastrointestinal system passes and receives signals. Stress disrupts or scrambles these signals. When you’re under stress, the systems can’t work smoothly and it causes a break down in communication.
You can get scrambled signals for things like differentiating how your body handles the digestive order. The process that works to handle the food can shortchange the amount of enzymes used or it can release too many enzymes.
You can experience spasms - not only in your esophagus, but in your stomach as well. The production of acid within your stomach can be affected by stress. Your food won’t be broken down the way it should and your body won’t be able to absorb the nutrition like it normally does when you’re not stressed.
Stress can cause stomach pain and nausea. It can cause your bowels to slow down so you develop constipation or it can cause them to speed up so that you end up with diarrhea.
You can develop inflammation within your digestive system. This can lead to cramps, weight loss, and fever. You may develop painful bloating. When your digestive system is affected by stress, it can cause you to have heartburn and it can lead to the development of serious gastrointestinal conditions.
You can develop ulcers due to the stress your body is feeling. Though it’s true that ulcers are directly linked to a specific bacteria, it’s the upset in the normal function of the digestive system under stress that allows this bacteria to flourish to the point of causing an ulcer.
If you have a condition such as IBS, stress can worsen that. Stress is known to cause flare ups of certain diseases such as IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The reason that stress can impact your digestive system so heavily is because hormones are released when the body experiences stress.
These hormones flood your entire gastrointestinal system and throw it out of balance.
The stress that you’re under can keep your system out of balance until you take steps to alleviate it.
Stress Can Cause Obesity to Spiral Out of Control
If you’re struggling with obesity, being under stress can cause you to continue to gain. It can reach the point where the weight gain gets out of control. Stress is one of the key factors in packing on the pounds.
Part of the reason why you gain more weight if you’re under stress has to do with your hormones. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol. This stress hormone is helpful when you’re in a dangerous situation because it’s your flight or fight response.
But when you’re not in danger, your body is just flooded with cortisol and that cortisol prods you to want to eat. Not only does it make you to want to eat, but you find yourself pulled toward foods that are known to cause weight gain and health problems - foods like chips, cookies, cakes and fast foods are what you want.
There’s a reason the cortisol boost makes you want foods like that. It’s because when your body thinks there’s danger, it wants food in response to the hormonal outburst. Your body’s appetite increases, your digestion and metabolism slow down and your cravings feel like they went through the roof.
Because your metabolism slows down during stress, your body doesn’t handle calories or weight the same way it does when you’re not under stress. Along with the slower metabolism, stress causes changes in the way your body processes glucose.
You’ll find that your blood sugar can become elevated and stay elevated when you’re stressed. This leads to a desire to eat more, which then causes your glucose levels to rise sharply and quickly if you eat the sugary junk foods that are known to cause spikes.
Then those spikes fall, leaving you feeling jittery, and craving more sugary foods. When you’re stressed, you’ll eat greater portion sizes because you’re not so much feeding the hunger as you are trying to silence the emotions that go along with the stress.
Emotional eating has longed been linked with stress and people eat to feed emotions such as anger, sadness, depression, and anxiety. Overeating is also linked to the higher production of cortisol in your body that stress produces.
So what happens is stress triggers the changes throughout your body that lead to more hunger and combined with the slower metabolism, greater weight gain. This reaction that occurs isn’t something that can be fixed simply by dieting.
Because while the weight gain is the effect, it’s not the cause. The cause is the stress - and until you address the stress and deal with that, you’ll always have an uphill battle regarding weight gain.
Once you take care of the stress, you’ll find that it’s easier to stop the weight gain and lose the extra pounds because your body’s cortisol hormones will return to normal levels and your metabolism will pick back up.
Stress Can Worsen Diabetes Symptoms
Diabetes is a condition that requires consistent control in order to minimize the effects the disease has on your health. When you have good glucose control, you can have a similar life expectancy of someone who doesn’t have the condition.
But when stress is in the picture, it can impact your day to day health as well as your long term health. When you’re under stress, your body immediately kicks into gear and raises your hormone levels in an attempt to fight back against whatever the stress is.
The rise in hormone levels introduces a flood of cortisol. In people with a normal metabolic reaction to stress, the blood sugar then returns to normal. Those who have diabetes don’t have the same results.
When someone who has diabetes experiences stress, the body isn’t able to process the glucose released by the hormone reaction. As a result of that, the glucose isn’t absorbed or used.
Instead, it remains in the blood and you’ll notice that when you check your glucose level. If you’re subject to a constant barrage of stress and the body’s hormone reaction to stress, it causes long term elevated stress levels.
This leads to ineffectual glucose management, which in turn causes your diabetes and the related symptoms to spiral out of control. You can have stress that’s physical or emotional, but your body doesn’t differentiate between the types of stress.
It simply reacts to the stress itself. You can have headaches, fatigue, stomach pain, shoulder pain and mood swings as a result of stress. Because a diabetic can’t get their glucose back into balance the way that someone without diabetes naturally can, your health is put at risk.
Uncontrolled glucose levels can lead to nerve damage, skin infection or rashes, dental problems, kidney damage, heart attacks, blindness and loss of limbs. When the stress is being controlled and the glucose levels are within range, someone who has diabetes doesn’t face those issues.
But when the stress isn’t under control, then your diabetes won’t be either. The longer it goes uncontrolled, the more damage you’ll experience to your body. For someone who has diabetes, stress raises your blood pressure.
Many people with diabetes have borderline hypertension or have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Because the stress raises the blood pressure, that can cause more problems for your heart.
Stress is bad for anyone - but it’s twice as bad for someone with diabetes. In order to be able to regulate your glucose, you must find a way to eliminate the stress. If you’re in a stressful situation or you have chronic stress, learning how you can eliminate stress or remain calm can help prevent your glucose from constantly being high.
Is Your Hair Thinning Due to Stress?
Stress is a big cause of significant health and emotional problems. If you’re experiencing stress, your body goes through changes that reflects that mental chao. One of these changes is thinning hair.
The technical name for this is telogen effluvium and it can cause a once normal full head of hair to thin in patches, to fall out in clumps and to result in bald areas on your scalp.
When that happens, it’s a sign that you’re under a heavy stress load and it needs to be dealt with. Fortunately, the hair loss condition isn’t permanent, but it will last as long as you’re under the stress.
Everyone loses some hair, but it’s usually so minimal, you hardly even notice it. When you start noticing a lot of hair loss when you wash or brush your hair and you’re also under stress, that can be a bad sign.
The cause of thinning hair when you’re under stress is because stress can stop your body’s normal hair growth cycle. Your hair goes through stages of growth times and then it enters into a rest period.
The majority of your hair remains in a constant state of growth. That’s why you don’t usually notice the small portion that’s not in the growth cycle. Stress gets between the natural cycle and causes more strands of hair to get pushed from the follicles during the resting phase.
It also interrupts the natural growth period. Because stress causes this two part hair growth interruption, new hair doesn’t grow as fast as it normally would and the reaction caused by stress, the telogen effluvium, leaves your hair noticeably thinner.
The kinds of stress that can lead to hair thinning can be caused by an illness that’s ongoing. It can be stress related to medication, some that you take or some that you stop taking.
Not eating a healthy diet or going on crash diets can trigger stress that leads to the temporary hair thinning condition. Giving birth can cause the reaction of thinning hair if you’re under stress.
Being under emotional stress is a known cause of the condition. This would be stress such as having financial or relationship problems. It could be caused by stress from dealing with a job change or a move.
The condition kicks in when you’re stressed because of how stress causes your hormone levels to get out of balance. The longer you’re stressed, the more hair thinning you’ll experience.
But the good news is that the thinning hair is completely reversal if you eliminate the stress you’ve been under. You can eliminate stress through a number of ways such as by exercising, or using meditation.
Stress Will Defeat Your Anti Aging Efforts
You might be doing all that you can do outwardly to slow the signs of aging. You may be practicing a good skin care routine, making sure you get enough sleep, exercising regularly and eating healthy.
But all that effort is wasted if you live with chronic stress. Stress is one of the big factors when it comes to sabotaging your anti-aging efforts. The toll begins deep within your body on a cellular level.
Stress damages your mitochondria. Your mitochondria are structures known as organelles that are within your cells. Your mitochondria reacts to various factors, both physical and mental that can change your health, both short and long term.
The job of the organelles is to create energy for your body. When the mitochondria become impaired due to stress, a number of events take place that you may not even realize.
The first thing is that you become open to developing ongoing cell damage, inflammation and disease. The organelles filter your life and are instrumental in dealing with how your body as a whole reacts to stress.
When you let stress go and you don’t deal with it, the mitochondria can reach their limit. They simply aren’t able to cope with a high volume of stress. As a result, the clock starts ticking and the signs of aging multiply.
You’ll see things like skin damage, hair that loses its luster, muscle weakness, organ damage, cognitive problems and vision or hearing issues. Stress doesn’t just age you at a cellular level.
It also affects your brain. Stress can age your brain and even make it shrink in size. That’s because stress causes a reaction within the body that alerts the brain’s hypothalamus.
As a result, the brain pushes for a greater production of cortisol. Left unchecked, this flood of cortisol impedes the brain’s ability to work properly. The stress interferes with the synapse function, eliminates viable brain cells and stunts the cortex.
At the same time, the cortisol flood causes a loop effect, meaning it can make the effect of stress on your brain even greater. This causes age related issues like forgetfulness, inability to concentrate and confusion.
Studies have linked high cortisol levels in the brain to cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Many people don’t realize that vision is impacted by stress and vision loss can occur as a result.
You can experience things like glaucoma, retinopathy and other age related eye problems. Stress damages the nerves within the eyes because of the higher levels of cortisol in the body.
It’s the same thing with your hearing. Stress can hasten the decline in your hearing. It can cause things like tinnitus, hearing loss, partial or full deafness. Stress can cause high blood pressure, too, which causes damage to your blood vessels.
Vessels are impacted throughout your body - including in your ears. If you don’t minimize or get rid of stress, you will feel and see the effects. It’ll make you feel older than you are and your appearance will change to reflect what’s going on in your body.
A Dozen Ways to Successfully Deal with Stress
Stress is what happens when you have so much to deal with emotionally or physically, and the burdens overwhelms you. This is why you can deal with many stressors and then all of a sudden something minor like dropping a glass of milk makes you start crying or feels like the final straw.
When you let stress build, it can feel as if it’s all too much to handle so you end up doing nothing. Or worse, you start trying to deal with the stress by using alcohol or other unhealthy coping mechanisms. Dealing with stress head on is always best and here are a dozen ways that you can effectively do that.
By using visualization or other forms of meditation, it can help relieve the pressure of stress building up. You don’t have to be an expert to get started with meditation, either. You can use self-help books, online tutorials, guided imagery podcasts or other means.
Meditation takes your mind out of the middle of the stress and allows you to focus your thoughts. While you’re meditating, the constant badgering you sometimes get from stress will be eliminated because it won’t have center stage in your thoughts.
This practice can be done anywhere at any time and it doesn’t take long to reap the benefits of using meditation to deal with stress. Your mind and body will align and relax while using meditation.
It helps you let go of the negativity brought on by stress and instead keep your mind set on what’s good, what’s peaceful and what’s helpful to you. Meditation gives you a coping skill that helps you eliminate the effects of the flight or fight response that occurs when you’re under stress. You’ll be able to lower your blood pressure and feel the weight of your stressors lift from your shoulders.
Know Your Stressors
Sometimes people aren’t prepared for handling stress because they don’t know exactly what it is about their life that’s causing the stress reaction. By understanding what causes you stress, you can manage and eliminate it.
Fear and anxiety is a stressor. You can feel this kind of stress when you start playing the what if game - what if you lose your job, what if you can’t your bills, what if your partner breaks up with you, what if you get sick, etc.
This is projection thinking that takes you out of the present day and causes your mind to live in a state of what “could” happen in the future. It’s worrying about something that hasn’t happened and may never happen.
Issues with relatives can also be a stressor. You could have people in your life that you simply don’t get along with. Or you could have family members who are involved in situations that are bad and you feel the stress from that.
Leaving your normal way of life can be a stressor. This includes things like taking on a new job or leaving one, moving to a new home or new state, ending a relationship or starting one, going to college or graduating or having a child or having a child move out.
It’s anything that shakes up how you routinely live your life. Health issues can be a stressor. Whenever you not feeling well or you’re dealing with a chronic health problem, it can cause stress.
You feel the stress more when the health issue gets in the way of you being able to handle your day to day activities or your job. Job performance, both good and bad, can be a stressor.
When you do well at work, you may feel the stress and pressure to continually outdo yourself. When you do poorly, you may fear the boss’s reaction or the loss of your job.
Work and family balance is another stressor.
You can feel pulled in two directions and feel like your life isn’t balanced. This can cause you to feel stressed that you’re not able to do your best at work or at home because your time is being stretched too thin.
Track Your Stressors
You can’t fight what you can’t see coming. But when you write down what you’re going to be handling that day, it helps you deal with stress. It does this because you’ll be identifying all the situations for that day and what the potential stressors are going to be.
Identify what it is about the situation (or the person) that’s going to be in your day that’s causing you to feel the stress. For example, if you have to attend your child’s school for an event and the ex you don’t get along with is going to be there, you should know ahead of time how to handle the negative emotions that will rise up.
Maybe you can strategize a way to minimize interaction, too. Know ahead of time that when you feel the anger, you’ll practice meditation deep breathing exercises – because this can help you keep the situation and yourself calm.
Discover the Power of No
One common cause of stress is being too busy saying yes to others that you end up saying no to yourself. Know your limitations and don’t exceed them. Every day you’re going to be bombarded with people and situations that want you to say yes and give your time and energy.
But being a consistent “yes” person is the road to stress. You can’t take time for yourself or what you really want to do if you don’t practice using the power of no. Most people refrain from saying no out of fear that they’ll appear selfish, but saying no to someone isn’t selfish.
It’s practicing the art of self care. When you have a problem telling other people no, or even telling yourself no to things, you add to your workload and can over-do what you’re capable of.
You’ll end up - not only stressed - but your immune system can take a hit as well since stress lowers your body’s immune system defenses. Learning to say no can free you from the guilt that comes along with saying yes.
Many people only agree to something because they feel guilted into it or they guilt themselves into it. Just keep in mind that by saying no, you’re taking care of your body and that’s a good thing.
When you say no, let that be your one word explanation. If someone asks, “why not” in response to your no, recognize that as a boundary issue. You don’t owe anyone a reason. By saying no, you free yourself from overextending your own time and causing yourself unnecessary stress.
Get Enough Sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, it can cause a delayed reaction time in situations such as driving or trying to do your job. It also causes memory problems, weight gain, and can lead to serious health issues.
But not getting the right amount of sleep can cause stress and worsen the stress you may already have. A lack of sleep causes your decision making ability to be affected and you end up making poor choices that increase your stress.
This happens when you get tired and you end up not really wanting to deal with whatever you’re trying to handle. So you end up saying no to good opportunities and yes to bad ones.
The lack of sleep can cause a cycle. When you don’t get enough rest, it causes stress, which in turn causes insomnia. With each feeding into the other, it can make your stress level increase and reach the point where you find it difficult to deal with even minor problems.
Stop Ignoring Problems
You might believe that it’s better not to deal with an issue that’s causing you stress - that if you don’t handle it, you’re protecting yourself. But what you’re doing is actually making your stress worse.
Common problems that people don’t like to deal with yet cause stress are: home repairs, car repairs, financial problems, children or teenage behavior, arguments/issues with your spouse, family problems, environmental problems or fear of world problems.
When a problem arises, deal with it as soon as possible. If you put it off, the problem can only get bigger and when it grows, it’ll take more of your energy and resources to fix.
Problems don’t ride off into the sunset just because they aren’t dealt with. They linger, quietly nagging at the back of your mind even while you’re trying to ignore them. This internal nagging is at work building your stress. Face your problems, deal with them head on, and free yourself from stress.
Lower Your Expectations
One of the reasons that people have stress is because their expectations are out of whack. They have high expectations for other people and for themselves. So when things don’t work out as they expected, they feel not only disappointed, but stressed as well.
You can tell if your expectations are causing you stress if you think that your life wasn’t supposed to turn out the way that it has - or if you think your partner wasn’t supposed to behave the way he or she did.
It causes you stress because you were expecting something you didn’t receive. You feel disappointment that the picture in your mind wasn’t painted correctly in reality. Relief from stress is found by having realistic expectations for yourself and for the others in your life as well.
Learn to accept yourself for who you are, and others for who they are. When you consider your life, rather than feeling stressed for what hasn’t worked out, focus on the good that has. Stop putting the pressure and stress on yourself to do more or to be more.
Find a Hobby You Enjoy
When you find something you like doing, it acts as a stress reliever because it gives you an outlet. A hobby can be a way for you to release the anxiety and pent up emotions that go along with dealing with stress.
You can get involved in music such as finding new songs or new bands. You can check out the local music scene where you live and attend free music festivals or shows for singers and bands just getting started.
Painting and other creative things such as sketching or coloring can be a hobby that works as a stress outlet. There’s also journaling. You don’t have to be good at writing to journal.
It’s just putting words down that are talking about how you’re feeling or what’s gone on during your day. Some people get into gardening. You can do vegetable and fruit or flowering gardening.
You can do a mixture of all three. Taking up knitting or crocheting is a great hobby that can help you deal with stress. You can learn a new skill such as a second language. Or you can learn how to play an instrument.
You can get involved in community theater or take acting classes. Going for regular hikes to explore new places is a great way to deal with stress. So is volunteering. By investing yourself in someone else, it successfully manages stress.
Create a To-Do List
You might wonder why creating a to-do list can help you manage stress. The answer is because when stress hits, you feel like everything is going wrong. You feel like nothing is within your ability to cope.
This feeling of being out of control can increase your stress level. Sometimes stress develops because people feel like they have so much to do or to overcome that it causes action paralysis, which then worsens stress.
By creating a to-do list, it helps a person prioritize the important things and they’re able to focus on getting one thing at a time accomplished. Rather than focusing on what they have to do in its entirety, which can make stress rise, they’re able to get through the day by choosing bite size action steps.
When you have a step-by- step to-do list it allows you to feel like you’re in control. This works well even if you don’t necessarily have a lot on your plate to handle. A physical list takes the pressure off your mental checklist.
Find Your Support System
One of the worst things about stress is when you try to keep it all inside. When your job isn’t working out well, your partner isn’t being helpful, and your kids are constantly pushing your buttons, you need a way to come to terms with the stress that you’re feeling.
If you don’t let it out, the stress pressure builds. You need to have someone to talk to about what you’re going through. This someone may not be able to do anything to change your situation.
But by simply being there to listen, it relieves you of the buildup you’re feeling. Talking through what’s happening with you and what’s causing your stress makes you feel better even if the situation is still present.
Your support can be a trusted friend, a relative, a romantic partner or a trained counselor. Sharing how you’re feeling relieves the emotional toll such as anxiety and depression that are often linked to stress.
Create a Strategy
Every single bit of stress in your life can be traced back to a trigger. It’s always cause and effect. Something happens and there’s a mental, emotional or physical reaction. There are consequences or changes that led to the stress.
For example, your boss gives you a better position. You make more money. Now you’re stressed. Not because you got the position that you wanted, but because there are more responsibilities.
It might be more time away from home. You might feel worried that you’re not up to par.
What you have to do when stress hits is trace backward to get to the root of your stress. When you find that, you can create a strategy to eliminate the stress.
If you take the new position at work, have a plan to enlist more help at home or hire outside help. If you’re worried you’re not knowledgeable enough about the new position, ask for help such as more training or take a course. Your strategy should make you proactive and show you what you need to do to help you deal with your stress.
You must reach the place where you realize that despite how hard you try, there are some things you just can’t solve. By wasting time worrying and trying to find a fix for the unfixable, you’re just creating stress.
You can’t fix a coworker who’s lazy or is a jerk. You can’t force a loved one not to break up with you. You can’t order every event in your life to be as you wish it to be. You don’t have any control over things that are outside your ability to change.
What you have to do is accept what you can’t change and make peace with it. When you waste energy striving to try to force things to happen that are beyond your scope, you end up frustrated and stressed.
Accepting that you’re powerless to change everything that affects you is a hard thing to do but it’s necessary in order to deal with stress. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re strong enough to move on with your life rather than remaining stuck.
For many people, stress is a common occurrence, arising from various events that happen each day. At some point, stress becomes something that we’re almost used to. However, whether you’re used to being stressed out or not, stress can have the same negative physical and mental effects on you.
Stress affects everyone differently. Different things can cause stress more than others depending on the person. However, there are some common signs of stress that you have to watch out for.
While you may not be able to realize that you’re stressed out right away, you’ll likely be able to notice these signs easily enough. First, you might find it to be easier to identify the physical signs of stress.
Strangely, stress can cause a variety of negative physical effects, including increased heartrate, headaches or migraines, lowered immune system, and even feelings of nausea.
These can all lead to further stress or worsened physical effects if they’re left unchecked. Next, you’ll notice the emotional signs. The most common one among people is that they start to become irritable and easily angered.
The smallest things can provoke them and set them off. On the inside, you might feel panicked, as if you’re losing all control and your life is in some kind of tailspin right now. Similarly, you might find it really difficult to focus.
With so many thoughts running through your head, your brain won’t be operating at its best, so you’ll find it a lot harder to sit down and focus on doing the things that you need to do.
Procrastination is often used as a means to relieve stress, but only tends to make the stress worse. Dangerously, you might notice in some people or in yourself that they begin to drink more or start to abuse drugs.
This can create a whole world of horrible issues, but is often used as a means of helping their stress initially. It’s important to pay attention to these signs if you really want to resolve your stress.
One of the most important things about stress relief is being able to seek out the sources of your stress and deal with them directly, but you won’t be able to do that if you don’t realize that you’re stressed out in the first place.
After you’re able to understand that you’re stressed out and you figure out what signs point to it, you’ll then be able to move on and start dealing with each issue on an individual basis.